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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut is second only to lemon as my favorite flavor in desserts. There's nothing quite like crunchy sweet coconut in a pie or cookie or cake or... well, you get the idea.

So, I decided to break in a new tart pan from Williams-Sonoma with a Coconut Cream Pie. This recipe is really fairly simple and is a classic from Southern Living and included in their Classic Southern Desserts cookbook.

The only real changes I've made to it is to use a stabilized whipped cream so that it will keep better for a few days. If you're going to be serving this for guests then there's no need to stabilize the cream. You can just make the pie ahead of time and refrigerate and then add fresh whipped cream just before serving.

This is a great little pie that looks nice and will impress your guests and family. You'll find this perfect for summer gatherings although, traditionally in the South, this is normally served around the Christmas holidays along with coconut cakes.

So, a classic Southern Coconut Cream Pie...

Recipe: Coconut Cream Pie

Summary: A classic Southern dessert with creamy coconut custard filling topped with homemade whipped cream and toasted coconut!

Ingredients

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tbs. butter
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Stabilized Whipped Cream
  • 1 tsp. plain gelatin
  • 2 tbs. cold water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Fit 1 pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan. Prick bottom and sides with a fork. Place parchment paper over crust and fill with pie weights, dried beans or rice. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool on wire rack.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in heavy saucepan. Whisk together half-and-half and egg yolks. Gradually whisk egg mixture into sugar mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Allow to boil for 1 minute and remove from heat. Stir in butter, 1 cup coconut, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Place plastic wrap directly on warm custard to prevent film from forming. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove plastic wrap and spoon custard into crust. cover and chill 30 minutes or until set.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Place 3 tbs. shredded coconut in single layer on shallow pan. Bake 5 to 6 minutes until toasted. Stir occasionally. Cool completely (about 15 minutes.) Watch coconut very closely as it only take a moment to go from toasted to burned!
Whipped Cream:
  1. Add gelatin to cold water in small pan. Set this over boiling water until it is clear. Do not stir. Cool to room temperature. Meanwhile whip the cream until it is medium thick. Pour gelatin mixture into the center of cream while mixer is going. Pour in the gelatin all at once and continue beating. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until cream stands in stiff peaks.
  2. Spread whipped cream on pie and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Return to refrigerator to chill or serve immediately.
Total time: 1 hour 15 min
Number of servings (yield): 8 slices
Meal type: dessert
Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)
Copyright © Buck Bannister and Sugar Pies.
Recipe adapted by Buck Bannister.

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